Page last updated at 13:40 GMT, Thursday, 25 June 2009 14:40 UK

Brazil coaches vie for Cup final

By Rodrigo Durao Coelho
BBC Brasil, South Africa

Joel Santana (left) and Dunga (right)
Santana was Dunga's boss when he played for Brazil team Vasco

When Brazil and South Africa play each other in the semi-final of the Confederations Cup later this evening, it will be the first time two Brazilian coaches have gone head to head in the finals of a Fifa tournment.

"We know that a Brazilian coach will be in the final but I hope it will be me," said Joel Santana, South Africa's coach.

It will not be easy and he knows it.

The enormity of the task - to beat Dunga's Brazil team - has been compared to climbing Mount Everest without oxygen.

But Joel Santana stresses he is not going into the match afraid of losing.

"I think it could be a great game, with good technical skills and passing. We try to face every team as equals and we try to play football that is nice to watch," he said.

"But at the very least this match will let us acquire experience against a team with Kaka, Robinho and other world-class players," he said.

The 60-year-old coach from Rio de Janeiro concedes he will feel a bit emotional when he hears the Brazilian national anthem.

"But when the game starts we switch to professional mode. I have deep, deep respect for South Africa so I will try my best to honour this country. Besides, all the affection the South Africans have shown me makes me feel South African as well as Brazilian."

Much in common

Dunga became manager of Brazil when Carlos Alberto Parreira left the post in 2006.

The Confederations Cup trophy
Both Brazilian coaches hope to get their hands on this trophy

And when Parreira parted company with South Africa two years later, Santana took over from him.

But the two coaches have even more in common.

Santana was the coach of Brazilian league side Vasco when Dunga was a midfielder there.

Dunga has already won the first battle against his former boss - Brazil will wear their iconic yellow shirts, with South Africa having to switch to a green kit.

"He was exactly the way he is now. Quiet, highly disciplined, a great player. He knows a lot about the game and how it is played," said Santana.

Dunga describes Santana as "one of the great Brazilian football coaches"."

"He helped me a lot in my career but this is not between Dunga and Santana. It is Brazil against South Africa," he said.

"South Africa are an emerging team, but we know they will give us a difficult test. They're strong, quick and they will have the crowd behind them."

Fifa Confederations Cup, semi-final

Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg Date: Thursday 25 June Start: 1830 GMT

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Brazil 1-0 South Africa
25 Jun 09 |  Internationals


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